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Bond Trading Grinds To A Halt: Goldman Set To Report Weakest Q1 Since 2005; Revenues Down As Much As 25% Elsewhere





Since Wall Street has been explicitly fighting the Fed (remember: the main reason there is no volume is because nobody is selling) Wall Street has once again lost, and despite its appeals, the time to pay the piper has come. Said payment will be taken out of bank Q1 earnings which as everyone knows, will continue the declining trend seen in recent years (so much for that whole Net Interest Margin fable), but to learn just how bad, we go to the FT which reports that fixed income groups across Wall Street "are set for their worst start to the year since before the financial crisis, with revenue declines of up to 25%." The punchline: "Analysts now expect Goldman Sachs to record its weakest first quarter since 2005 and JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America are forecast to see their lowest revenues since they bought Bear Stearns and Merrill Lynch, respectively, in 2008."

 
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Frontrunning: March 12





  • China worries chill markets, copper slumps (Reuters)
  • Peak dot com dot two idiocy: Candy Crush Saga maker King seeks $7.56 bln valuation from IPO (BBG)
  • Obama Meeting With Yatsenyuk Raises Stakes in Ukraine (BBG)
  • Federal prosecutors open criminal probe of GM recall (Reuters)
  • Pimco Cuts Government Debt on Outlook for Fed Buying (BBG)
  • Missing Malaysian Jetliner Confuses World That’s Online 24/7 (BBG)
  • Mortgage Giants Face Endgame (WSJ)
  • Russia Calls U.S. Aid to Ukraine Illegal Amid Standoff (BBG)
  • U.S. judge freezes assets of Mt. Gox bitcoin exchange boss (Reuters)
  • Ousted Libyan PM flees country after tanker escapes rebel-held port (Reuters)
  • Senate-CIA Dispute Erupts Into a Public Brawl (WSJ)
 
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Frontrunning: March 10





  • Index of largest Chinese stocks drops to lowest since February 2009 (BBG)
  • Plane-Debris Hunters Seek Suspected Aircraft Window Part (BBG)
  • New-Home Building Is Shifting to Apartments (WSJ)
  • Forward Guidance Risks Stoking Instability, BIS Says (BBG)
  • Alleged Bitcoin Millionaire Nakamoto Gets $28,000 Donations (BBG)
  • Mexico kills drug kingpin reported dead years ago (Reuters)
  • Tencent to Buy 15% Stake in JD.com to Boost E-Commerce (BBG)
  • Bitcoin exchange MtGox 'faced 150,000 hack attacks every second’ (Telegraph)
  • Noyer Says Stronger Euro Creates Unwarranted Pressure on Economy (BBG)
  • Russian Forces Gain in Ukraine as Separatist Vote Looms (BBG)
 
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Copper Collapses Most Since Dec 2011 On China Credit Fears





We noted last night that Iron Ore futures prices were in free-fall as the vicious circle of China's commodity-collateral-backed shadow banking system unwind hits home amid fears of contagion from the Chaori Solar default. The first domestic Chinese corporate bond default has retail investors running scared as surprise spreads that the local government did not come to the rescue. The deleveraging is now spreading to copper prices (remember the massive cash-for-copper schemes of last year) as borrowers are forced to sell to meet cash calls which in turn drops copper prices, reducing collateral values and tightening credit conditions even more. This is the biggest copper price drop since Dec 2011...

 
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Frontrunning: March 7





  • Putin rebuffs Obama as Ukraine crisis escalates (Reuters)
  • Behind the $100 Billion Commodity Empire That Few Know (BBG)
  • Initial Public Offerings Hit Pace Not Seen in Years (WSJ)
  • Russian Parliament Will Back Crimea Split From Ukraine (WSJ)
  • Nakamoto Named as Bitcoin Father Denies Involvement, Flees Press (BBG)
  • Chaori Can’t Make Payment in China’s First Onshore Default (BBG)
  • Zombies Spreading Shows Chaori Default Just Start (BBG)
  • Pimco's Gross declares El-Erian is 'trying to undermine me' (Reuters)
  • U.S. Fighters Circle Baltics as Putin Fans Fear of Russia (BBG)
 
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Frontrunning: March 6





  • Spot the inaccuracies: Stocks rise on Ukraine diplomacy, ECB easing speculation (Reuters)
  • Bank of England Extends Record-Low Rates Into a Sixth Year (BBG)
  • China's Chaori Solar poised for landmark bond default (Reuters), explained here previously
  • EU leaders meet in Brussels to address Ukraine crisis (FT)
  • Nine-month-old baby may have been cured of HIV, U.S. scientists say (Reuters)
  • China Raises Defense Spending 12.2% for 2014 (WSJ)
  • China Stock Index Rises as Developers Jump on Policy Speculation (BBG)
  • VTB Cancels New York Forum as U.S. Relations Sour (BBG)
  • IBM workers strike in China over terms of Lenovo takeover (FT)
  • College Board Redesigns SAT Exam Making Essay Portion Optional (BBG)
 
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Futures Drift Higher Pushed By Yen Carry In Advance Of BOE, ECB Announcements





Following yesterday's abysmal employment and service data which led to an unchanged close it quite clear that the market has returned to a mode where it ignores all newsflow - at least the bad, which is due to the weather, the good news is due to the recovery - and instead is simply driven by such "fundamental drivers" as the momentum and position of the Yen carry trade. And overnight the USDJPY positively exploded following news that the Japan advisory committee has decided the nation's pension fund, the GPIF, does' t need a domestic bond focus. Implicitly this means that the GPIF will soon be able to purchase stocks like Facebook and Tesla, which is a guaranteed way of generated short-term gains and longer-term total losses for the Japanese pensioners. Of course, when the latter happens, nobody will have been able to foresee it and some scapegoat somewhere will be summarily fired. As for what this means for futures, the drift higher has made SPOOs rise once more and at last check was just below if not at new all time highs on an ongoing barrage of increasingly negative macro news.

 
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Frontrunning: March 5





  • High Stakes Limit Bid to Cow Putin (WSJ)
  • Russia says can't control Crimea troops ahead of U.S. talks (Reuters)
  • Crimea Crisis Haunted by Ghosts of Bungled World War I Diplomacy (BBG)
  • Putin’s Ukraine Gambit Hurts Economy as Allies Lose Billions  (BBG)
  • Germany Says It Provided Equipment and Training to Ukraine's Riot Police (WSJ)
  • China signals focus on reforms and leaner, cleaner growth (Reuters)
  • China Shares in Hong Kong Decline Amid Default Concern (BBG)
  • Beijing Signals New Worry on Growth (WSJ)
 
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Bitcoin Claims Its First "Real" Victim





The last few weeks have been dismally littered with two things. The virtual losses of virtual wealth from virtual currency speculation and the very real losses of very real humans with very real senior financial services positions. Sadly, as NewsWatch reports, tonight sees the two trends converge as the 28-year-old CEO of Singapore-based Bitcoin exchange First Meta has been found dead. The exact reason that may have led to the suicide is not known, and whether the Police have concluded that the cause of death is suicide is also unofficial.

 
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"More Bloodletting" As Citi/JPM See Plunge In Trading Volumes





Jefferies, Deutsche Bank, and now Citi and JPMorgan are all facing a collapse in trading volumes as Bloomberg reports the two banks brace for a fourth straight drop in first-quarter trading revenues - a period of the year when the largest investment banks typically earn the most from that business. “It sounds like more bloodletting on Wall Street,” warns one analyst, as Citi expects trading revenue to drop by a “high mid-teens” percentage.

 
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Frontrunning: March 4





  • No need to use military force in Ukraine for now: Putin (Reuters)
  • Russia Orders Drill Troops Back to Bases (WSJ)
  • Ukraine premier agrees to reforms for aid package (FT)
  • Japan Base Wages Rise for First Time in Nearly Two Years (WSJ)
  • Only the algos are trading: Citigroup Joins JPMorgan in Seeing Trading-Revenue Drop  (BBG)
  • Vietnam sends blogger to prison for critical posts (AP)
  • At White House, Israel's Netanyahu pushes back against Obama diplomacy (Reuters)
  • Obama to offer new tax breaks for workers in election year budget pitch (Reuters)
  • China Banks Show Too-Connected-to-Fail Link to Shadow Loans (BBG)
  • Ex-BOK Deputy Lee Named to Head South Korea Central Bank (BBG)
  • No mortgage origination problem in the UK: Mortgage approvals climb to six year high (Telegraph)
 
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Frontrunning: March 3





  • Russian markets hit as Putin tightens grip on Crimea (Reuters)
  • Ukraine Sees More Russian Incursions as Standoff Worsens (BBG)
  • Ukraine Crisis Roils Global Markets (WSJ)
  • Cold War Ghosts Haunt East Europe in Moves for Crimea (BBG)
  • How Moscow Orchestrated Events in Crimea (WSJ)
  • Russia Gas Threat Shows Putin Using Pipes to Press Ukraine (BBG)
  • Euro-zone PMI slowed less sharply than estimated (MW)
  • Two top Microsoft execs to leave in reshuffle (Reuters)
  • Soaring Luxury-Goods Prices Test Wealthy's Will to Pay (WSJ)
  • IQ-Boosting Drugs Aim to Help Down Syndrome Kids Learn (BBG)
 
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Gold Price "Manipulated For A Decade", Repeatedly Slammed Lower, Bloomberg Reports





While the FT promptly retracted an article on precisely the topic of gold manipulation from earlier this week (recorded for posterity here), Bloomberg appears to not have had the same "editorial" concerns and pressures, and today released an article once again slamming the final conspiracy theory that while every other asset class is manipulated, gold is in a pristine class of its own, untouched by close-banging, price fixing traders or central bankers, and reports that "the London gold fix, the benchmark used by miners, jewelers and central banks to value the metal, may have been manipulated for a decade by the banks setting it, researchers say." And the punchline: "Large price moves during the afternoon call were also overwhelmingly in the same direction: down. On days when the authors identified large price moves during the fix, they were downwards at least two-thirds of the time in six different years between 2004 and 2013. In 2010, large moves during the fix were negative 92 percent of the time, the authors found."

 
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Frontrunning: February 28





  • Yuan suffers biggest weekly loss as PBOC punishes speculators (Reuters)
  • Euro Gains as Bonds Decline With Stocks on Inflation Data (BBG)
  • Biggest Sovereign Fund Forced to Sell Stocks as Mandate Breached (BBG)
  • Because we don't already have enough fried foods.. (Reuters)
  • Putin: Russia to Consider Aid to Ukraine (AP)
  • Wall Street Hates JPMorgan Fee for $1 Trillion Junk Loans (BBG)
  • Yellen Sticks to Plan Amid Weather Doubts (WSJ)
  • U.S. Retail Chains See First Profit Decline Since Recession (BBG)
 
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China Currency Plunges Most In Over 5 Years, Biggest Weekly Loss Ever: Yuan Carry Traders Crushed





And just like that the Chinese yuan devaluation has shifted away from the merely "orderly." In the past few hours of trading, China, which as we reported two days ago has started intervening aggressively in the Yuan market, has seen its currency crash by nearly 0.9%, which may not seem like much, but is in fact the largest drop since December of 2008, and at last check was trading at around 6.18, even as the PBOC fixed the CNY reference rate 0.02% higher from the last official close to 6.1214, erasing pivot support point at 6.1346 and 6.1408.  Naturally this means that the obverse, the CNYUSD, has crashed to as low as 0.1620. Should this move sustain without reverting, this will be the biggest weekly loss ever! The dramatic move is shown on the chart below.

 
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